Back links, reviews and steady traffic are indicators of a successful website. But with all the updates to Google over the past two years, it's clear that the most powerful component of a successful website is quality, organic and optimized content.
Tooling content to your maximum advantage requires a time investment, and while this can be costly, it is essential to maintaining a high rank and solid metrics.
Several factors impact the efficacy of content and its performance on your website. If your site is not performing to your expectations, or its rank is starting to slip, now is the time to engage in some quick-fix strategies to create and optimize your content.
Check out these five tips to help you gain the most from your content. While these tips may seem mainstream, people often forget them. But with these economical quick fixes, your blog or website may perform to your expectations once more.
1. Retool headlines.
Some of the most valuable search engine optimization (SEO) real estate on your website rests with the headers and subheads. People may overlook the best article in the world if its title isn't catchy.
Compelling headers drive traffic. Your readers and website visitors want you to inform and entertain them; they don't want you to feed them redundant text in a dry way. Write headers that shout "Good information ahead!"
To freshen up older posts, consider adding subheads filled with keywords that will draw in searches and more readers. For new posts, consult Google Trends for ideas, or Alexa.com to research trending topics. Incorporate these topics into new articles and posts, and perhaps provide commentary that creates a good tie-in to your company's product or service.
2. Use Alexa.com to drive traffic.
There is a plethora of tools for Web designers and developers at Alexa.com. They record valuable metrics on global and regional page rank, as well as views and keyword associations.
Also, check out Alexa's "What's Hot" page for interesting and useful summaries of trends on the Internet. The page is updated every five minutes. When you plan your content for the week, review the "What's Hot" page for the keywords and subjects most likely to draw visits to your site.
Consider incorporating some of Alexa's "Top 20 Hot Topics" into planned content, and read the site's articles, which can be a valuable source of information on what's trending.
3. Take advantage of social media.
One of the best tools to aggregate content is social media. After every post or change on your site, be sure to provide that page's URL on the major social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.
Social media and content work together to create an audience. Your website or blog produces followers for your social media channels, and sharing content from your site on social media produces subscriptions to your RSS feed or site follow list.
Remember: Optimize all profiles with keywords for search engine discovery.
4. Use graphics and multimedia content.
Never underestimate the value of a good graphic. From the time we are children, our eyes are trained to enjoy taking in images. We prefer picture books to long novels.
Mixing up content to include popular multimedia or graphic interaction is critical to your site's success. Colorful pictures add interest, break up the density of the text, and prevent reader fatigue. Share interesting and high-quality images your readers will enjoy, and don't forget to optimize them with meta tags and appropriate keywords.
Also, don't underestimate the value of video. Optimizing your YouTube page and profile will support your brand marketing in an entertaining and attractive way.
5. Add interactive elements.
Building in elements that create a call to action for your audience keeps readers engaged and coming back for more. If you use Instagram, install the widget that shares your updates, and offer visitors an opportunity to like or comment on your photographs.
You may also want to consider other interactive elements, such as opinion polls. Switch up your content so you can appeal to the broadest group. By creating variety in both subject matter and delivery, you will gradually build a community around your website. Variety is the spice of life, and when you strategically optimize your content, you will see results-increased page views, subscriptions, and overall ranking-after a short time.
Pratik Dholakiya is currently associated with E2M Solutions, a professional SEO consulting company. You can follow him on Twitter @DholakiyaPratik. A version of this article originally appeared on Straight North.